They say many things about history. One is that history belongs to those that invent it. This is a scary thought to me. If true, this means a great deal of history is mere fiction and invented incorrectly.
A large percent of history is simply forgotten as well, never to be revealed of again. As the old-timers fade away, so does the history of their lives.
I knew some of the old-timers around Flower Mound and heard some of their amazing stories. I am still hearing stories, rummaging through old photographs, and collecting what a lot of people consider worthless junk. I sometimes wonder how many boxes of old photographs, newspaper stories, letters, and other artifacts are thrown away or lost as we lose our early residents.
The lives of those that were here before us are a treasure and should be preserved. The older I get, the more I appreciate history. I hope you feel the same, and together, we can preserve our history and heritage.
I was blessed to have lived with and be a family member of Bob Rheudasil. He was the first Mayor of Flower Mound, my father-in-law, and one of the greatest men I have ever known. I always thought of Bob as the “Last Gentleman Cowboy”.
Bob was a real cowboy in early Flower Mound days and ran a cattle ranch with 4,000 acres and hundreds of world renowned Aberdeen Black Angus Cattle. When development and urban sprawl came to Flower Mound and a huge cattle ranch no longer made sense, Bob adjusted and became a renowned tree farmer. He planted many trees that still stand proudly around Flower Mound.
I want to write about Bob Rheudasil and early Flower Mound leaders to preserve these stories, many of which Bob told me. Hopefully some of you will share your early stories too. Together, we can discover and record the real history and heritage of Flower Mound, and not leave it to others that may distort or guess at it. We can’t have strangers inventing our history and heritage for us, now can we?
Bob Rheudasil died on September 19, 2011, just months after the 50thAnniversary of
the birth of Flower Mound. One of the last times Bob stood on his own was at a 50thAnniversary Celebration, where he proudly received a Proclamation from the Town of Flower Mound, honoring his early leadership. I believe Bob and God waited for that 50th Birthday party. Bob loved Flower Mound. He had a major stroke just days after this presentation and never recovered..
Flower Mound was born in 1961 in the midst of a land skirmish known as the Denton County Wars. The City of Irving was attempting to annex a lot of North Texas including Flower Mound. Flower Mound had to fight a significant legal battle against this annexation, or become part of Irving.
Bob Rheudasil, Doc Wilkerson, Edward Marcus, and other early residents banded together and won a Landmark Legal Case to stop this massive annexation. Flower Mound was incorporated quickly after and Bob was elected the first Mayor.
Bob was a real ambassador for Flower Mound and always said, “I welcome you to Flower Mound, as long as you welcome the next ones to come”. These are some of the most unselfish words I know. Bob said them to every new resident he met, as he watched Flower Mound grow from farms and ranches to the community it is today. I hope more residents adopt this principle, as I have.
Flower Mound was born fighting for land rights and it seems like Flower Mound has been fighting ever since. If you have been around Flower Mound long, you know the politics are always spirited and sometimes bloody.
Aside from fighting each other, we have always had to fend off outsiders from plundering the town for profits and precious resources. These struggles continue and are a part of who we are – even today. We have always had a lot to fight for and our struggles have made Flower Mound the quality community it is today.
When Bob was with us, a friend wanted me to help get the old-timers together at the Flower Mound Presbyterian Church to discuss the early history of Flower Mound, and to celebrate Flower Mound’s 50th Anniversary. I asked Bob if he would help me organize the old-timers and invite them. Bob told me all the old-timers he knew were already at the Presbyterian Church, in the cemetery next door. Now Bob is there with them.
Bob and others in Flower Mound led amazing lives and left us a proud heritage. Let’s re-discover and share their lives, before this history is lost forever or invented by those that don’t really appreciate it.